Animal Charity

Animal Rescue: Our sanctuaries

Find out about our sanctuaries

Animal rescue is at the core of who we are at FOUR PAWS UK, as an international organisation. We aim to undertake as much animal rescue as we can to help create a world in which animals suffer less and are instead treated with respect, empathy and understanding.

With this is mind, animal rescue wouldn’t be half as effective without the rehabilitation side. This is where our sanctuaries come in, which allow us to not only home the animals we rescue but also offer them the after-care, species appropriate environments, and love that they need.

Our Sanctuaries: A Second Chance at Happiness

Animal rescue is all about removing animals from the suffering that they are enduring, which can be anything from exploitation as part of the tourism industry, enduring cruel and brutal zoo environments, or undergoing cruelty as part of the illegal puppy trade, the dog and cat meat trade, or the canned hunting industry.

Our sanctuaries primarily house wild living animals, including bears, lions, tigers, and other big cats. As a non-governmental organisation, we rely on the support from our communities to keep them running. This is why we always keep our communities involved in the lives of our sanctuary animals through our social channels.

Animal Rescue and The Importance of Donations

For an animal rescue to go as smoothly as possible, it requires commitment, resource, and consistency. This why the donations we receive are invaluable to ensuring that we succeed in rescuing animals from the suffering they are experiencing. With this in mind, we work to create a donation process that works best for everyone. This means that if you want to pick and choose what you donate to, or you want to donate long term, the choice is yours.

A quick and easy way for you to support our animal rescues is through our donation forms. Whether you want to choose a one off or monthly donate, or would rather opt for a custom amount instead, our forms allow you to do this. You can also opt for a Paypal option too, if this works for you. You can find an example of one of our donation forms here.

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Animal Rescue: Are the animals at FOUR PAWS sanctuaries better off in the wild?

We often receive this question, so, to answer it, we have called in one of our experts Jeta Lepaja, Content Creator for FOUR PAWS Sanctuaries, to shine some light on the concern:

“Rescued animals under our care come from all kind of difficult backgrounds. During their life in captivity, they have been living in unsuitable conditions. Most of them had nothing. They were kept in tiny cages with concrete floors and offered a poor diet. A lot of them were used for “entertainment”, such as in circuses, or as “dancing bears” for years on end. For  Asian black bears many were abused for their bile (to be used in Traditional Medicine). Under these circumstances, and having been close to humans for a long time, they become dependent on people and most of them require medical attention for the rest of their lives. A big number of the animals we care for suffer from stress caused by malnutrition, confinement, cruel training and neglect, all caused by their suffering in the past.

In order to both monitor and improve our animals` physical well-being, we organise regular veterinary checks.

Many people are still confused as to why we can’t now release the animals now into the wild. Sadly their inappropriate starts and having lived  close to humans for such an extended period of time (a lot of them since they were cubs) has led to many losing their survival skills. They have become, or for many, never learnt the skills they would need to survive in the wild. From hunting for their food to foraging and in the case of our bears even natural behaviours such as hibernating have all been lost.

They are too used to humans and they have lost the shyness towards them, therefore if released they could be a risk for both, themselves and the humans. With all this it means that by offering them species appropriate homes we can finally offer them a chance to express their natural behaviours, but in a safe environment.”

Animal Rescue: Our Sanctuaries

Below, you will find a list of some of the sanctuaries that we have in operation across the world. These sanctuaries offer a new home to those that have experienced the power of animal rescue. Read below for more information:

BEAR SANCTUARY Mueritz: The biggest bear sanctuary in Western Europe

Since 2006, FOUR PAWS have been managing BEAR SANCTUARY Mueritz, housing 15 brown bears and offering them a second shot at a happy, species-appropriate life. The bears here were rescued from captivity and now enjoy a transformed life that consists of a 16-hectare site that has been designed to cater to their needs.

BEAR SANCTUARY Arbesbach: An animal-friendly home for abused bears since 1998

Working as a haven for former circus bears, or bears owned privately and kept in unsuitable conditions, BEAR SANCTUARY Arbesbach currently houses 6 bears. The sanctuary consists of 14,000 square metres of species-appropriate environment for the bears to enjoy, explore, and relax in.

Big Cat Sanctuary LIONSROCK: Species appropriate home for more than 100 animals, mainly big cats in South Africa

LIONSROCK gains its striking name from an equally as striking prominent rock in the centre of an rea called “Lionsrock”. It currently offers a haven to more than 100 animals, most of which are big cats rescued from the entertainment industry, zoos, and private captivity. Thanks to the support of our communities, they now live the lives they deserve.

Big Cat Centre FELIDA: Our FOUR PAWS rescue centre for big cats in the Netherlands

Our FELIDA sanctuary provides a caring home to big cats, such as tigers and lions (Currently 1 tiger and 5 lions). Although these rescue animals come from a range of different backgrounds, including circuses, private keeping and war-torn zoos, they all share a difficult start in life. In FELIDA, thanks to animal welfare supporters, they receive the specialised care to help them live much deserved happy lives.

These are just a few of the sanctuaries that we are able to sustain thanks to those who choose to donate to invest in the importance of animal welfare. You can find out more about our other sanctuaries here, as the list above is not exhaustive.

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Donating to Animal Welfare

If you’re interested in donating to an animal charity, such as FOUR PAWS, you can do so through our donation form. This is a quick, easy, and simple way for you to donate on a one-time or monthly basis. Whichever suits you best, and whatever you can give, it all helps.

Alternatively, you can get in touch with us via our online contact form, or by giving us a call on 020 7922 7954. A member of our supporter care team will be more than happy to discuss your donation options with you.

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